New Delhi, 26 March 2022: Under the National Health Mission, based on the proposals submitted by States/ Union Territories in the Annual Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs), support is provided for establishing Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) / Sick New-born Care Units (SNCUs) at Medical College and District Hospital level, New-born Stabilization Units (NBSUs) at First Referral Units (FRUs)/ Community Health Centres (CHCs) level for care of sick and small babies.

Under National Health Mission, ASHAs are performing following activities for childcare:

  • Conducting home visits as per scheduled visit under Home Based New-born Care and Home-Based Care of Young Children (HBYC) program to improve childcare practices and to identify sick new-born and young children in the community for referral to nearest health facilities for management.
  • Mobilize eligible new-borns and children to immunization sessions and support Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in conducting regular immunization.
  • Identify houses with 0 to 5 years old children and distribute Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) packets and Zinc tablets and educate mothers on preparation of ORS.
  • Increase awareness among families and community members on early identification of childhood pneumonia and also refer severe cases to the nearest health facility in coordination with ANMs.
  • Distribute Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) syrup to mothers of children 6 to 59 months of age and also ensure IFA supplementation twice in a week to prevent anaemia in children.
  • Identify sick children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in coordination with Anganwadi workers and ANMs for referral to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs).
  • Promote early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for first six months among infants and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is supporting all States/UTs in implementation of Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child, Adolescent health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) strategy under National Health Mission (NHM) based on the Annual Programme Implementation Plan (APIP) submitted by States/ UTs to reduce Infant Mortality Rate. The details of interventions are given below.

Interventions for improving Infant Mortality Rate (IMR):

  • Facility Based New-born Care: Sick New-born Care Units (SNCUs) are established at District Hospital and Medical College level, New-born Stabilization Units (NBSUs) are established at First Referral Units (FRUs)/ Community Health Centres (CHCs) for care of sick and small babies.
  • Community Based care of New-born and Young Children: Under Home Based New-born Care (HBNC) and Home-Based Care of Young Children (HBYC) program, home visits are performed by ASHAs to improve child rearing practices and to identify sick new-born and young children in the community.
  • Mothers’ Absolute Affection (MAA): Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted under Mothers’ Absolute Affection (MAA).

· Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) initiative implemented since 2019 for reduction of childhood morbidity and mortality due to Pneumonia.

· Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is implemented to provide vaccination to children against life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Measles, Rubella, Pneumonia and Meningitis caused by Haemophilus Influenzae B. The Rotavirus vaccination has also been rolled out in the country for prevention of Rota-viral diarrhoea. Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) has been introduced in all the States and UTs.

· Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK): Children from 0 to 18 years of age are screened for 30 health conditions (i.e. Diseases, Deficiencies, Defects and Developmental delay) under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakaram (RBSK) to improve child survival. District Early Intervention Centres (DEICs) at district health facility level are established for confirmation and management of children screened under RBSK.

· Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) are set up at public health facilities to treat and manage the children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) admitted with medical complications.

· Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight / Defeat Diarrhoea (D2) initiative implemented for promoting ORS and Zinc use and for reducing diarrhoeal deaths.

· Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy as a part of POSHAN Abhiyan aims to strengthen the existing mechanisms and foster newer strategies to tackle anaemia which include testing & treatment of anaemia in school going adolescents & pregnant women, addressing non-nutritional causes of anaemia and a comprehensive communication strategy.

· Capacity Building: Several capacity building programs of health care providers are taken up for improving maternal and child survival and health outcomes.

The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.